265. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State, White House, Washington, August 11, 1955, 9:15 a.m.1

1. I showed the President a copy of the translation of Adenauer’s letter to me,2 delivered August 10, which the President read. He expressed himself as disturbed. I said that I felt confident that Adenauer was wrong and had not yet adjusted himself to the new possibilities which I felt made more likely than ever before the unification of Germany. I said that it was difficult for a man of Adenauer’s age—about 80—to adjust himself to a new line of thinking after he had been dedicated to another line for so long.

I expressed the view that the new atmosphere meant not a perpetuation of the status quo but rather the greater opportunity for change. The “security” arguments of the Soviet Union had been downgraded and they did not have the same justification of “security” for holding on to East Germany and the satellites. The important thing, I said, was to make it perfectly clear that we did not identify increased hope of peace with increased solidification of the status quo but rather the contrary, and that we now expected there to be changes in the European situation, as evidenced by the unification of Germany and greater freedom for the satellites. I referred to my book War, Peace and Change 3 as indicating my great belief that we could not have peace for long unless there was peaceful change.

The President expressed himself as in complete agreement with this philosophy and said he felt it would fit well into a speech he was planning to make in honor of John Marshall about August 25.4 He said he would take a look at the speech from this standpoint and then send it over to me to work on.

I said I expected to write to Adenauer and also probably to ask Livie Merchant to go over to talk to him before he went to Moscow. I said that Adenauer obviously felt nervous about his forthcoming Moscow trip; that he had no Embassy to take refuge in and no place to talk without almost certainly being overheard by various devices.

The President agreed with this program.

[Here follow paragraphs 2–8 in which Dulles reported on Yugoslavia, Mexico, Americans in Chinese jails, tariffs on bicycles, tanks [Page 547] for Iraq, a possible trip to South America, presidential appointments, and the Pakistani Ambassador.]

9. I spoke to the President about the necessity of keeping in touch with him as I prepared for the October Foreign Ministers meeting. He suggested we should meet in Washington on August 23 when he would be back for his speech in Philadelphia. I said I would probably want to see him shortly before going to Geneva and he said he could arrange to have me flown out on his plane.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers. Top Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles.
  2. For text, see Erinnerungen, pp. 478–480.
  3. Reference is to Dulles’ book War, Peace and Change (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939).
  4. For text of President Eisenhower’s address to the Annual Convention of the American Bar Association at Philadelphia, August 24, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1955, pp. 802–809.